Royal Wedding: Countdown to the Big Wedding Dress Reveal...and Its Knockoffs

Royal wedding fashion countdownLet the knockoffs begin. After April 29, that is.

Chances are good that romantic, flowing and form-fitting bridal gowns, evening dresses and prom frocks will be making their way to retailers' shelves come May.

That's because that's the fashion aesthetic of Sophie Cranston, the British designer who was chosen to create Kate Middleton's wedding dress -- just what clothing makers and retailers are breathlessly waiting to copy when the soon-to-be-princess makes her big reveal next week at the royal wedding.This isn't the first time the designer has worked with Middleton: The 34-year-old designer whipped up the black velvet coat Middleton wore to a friend's wedding in January.

But once Middleton steps out of that limo and the flashbulbs start popping, says Susan Scafidi, professor and academic director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School in New York City, "there will be sewing machines cranking up all over the world, and, of course, in the U.S."

In turn, she added, "the usual suspects are ready and waiting" to knock off or, to put it more gently, "interpret" the highly anticipated wedding gown for the mass market. Expect to see wedding gowns inspired by the dress from wedding emporium David's Bridal and suppliers such as A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz, Scafidi says, as well as bridesmaids and prom dresses from vendors such as Faviana.

And be on the lookout for the fast-fashion retailers like H&M, Forever 21 and Top Shop to quickly whip up items inspired by Cranston's flowing, romantic and ethereal looks, Scafidi added.

Cranston, who worked for the late Alexander McQueen, is known for producing attainably priced fashion. Cranston's fashion label, Libelula, includes a line of Bespoke Wedding Dresses sold in the U.K. And Middleton's decision to go with the designer, who is a relative unknown, seems to reflect her populist inclinations. (It's been much reported that the butcher and grocer from the princess-elect's village in Berkshire are attending the wedding.)

Middleton has already been called "Michelle Obama-esque" for wearing clothes even we non-royal types can afford.

While the actual look of the royal dress is still a mystery, "Kate is a modern girl," says Scafidi. "She'll be a people's princess, not a fantasy princess. I think it will be far more modern -- I don't think we'll see a Princess Diana-like hoop skirt."

And you can't underestimate the power this single dress will have on fashion worldwide, Scafidi says. "Given what Cranston has done in the past -- [gowns] with straps or sleeves -- I would expect to see that [influence be] the biggest shift in bridal."

And it's not just Middleton's dress that will be infinitely copied. "Within less than 24 hours, look to see a whole lifestyle collection of products, from the dress to the tiara to the accessories to the footwear and the flowers that she's chosen, from head to toe, soup to nuts," Marshall Cohen, chief industry analyst with market research firm The NPD Group, told WalletPop.

"We saw this with the ring," Cohen offered. "Within a day, the ring was being made available at all different price points to the consumer."

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Investment Strategies

What's your investing game plan?

View Course »

Small Cap Investing

Learn now to invest in small companies the right way.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

2 Comments

Filter by:
Jane Wong

Select an appropriate color. Different colors have different meanings, so you can choose one color which can show your characters or express your feelings of the day. When choosing the color of the Quinceanera dress, girls don’t have to be limited to traditional colors like white or black. They can choose some vibrant colors like yellow, green, blue which are appropriate for their age. Some girls may prefer multi-colored Quinceaners dresses.
Choose a suitable style. There are two common styles of Quinceanera dresses. One is princess dress and another is ball gown. Both of them can be designed with elaborate embellished work which can make a girl be a shining star on her special day! Some other styles such as mermaid dresses, A-line dresses and so on are also offered to girls.
No matter how many colors and styles Quinceanera dresses have, I believe that girls will find a form-fitting dress that can really let her be out of the ordinary at Panda & Dress.pandadress.com

November 29 2013 at 4:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
keelytm

I loved her wedding dress! Personally, I think it was really nice to see one with sleeves, one that was really quite classy and modest. I am glad her dress has had such a big influence. Her sister, too. I feel like her bridesmaid dress has become madly popular, which has created a shift in how brides are now dressing their bridal party. Instead of short, sleeveless dresses I think more long, cap-sleeved dresses are becoming popular. ( http://maggiesonlinestore.com )

December 21 2011 at 2:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply